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ERIC Number: ED257321
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Acquisition of the Passive by ESL Learners.
Heckler, Edward E.
The acquisition of the passive sentence structure by 36 adult learners of English as a second language (ESL) was studied. Twelve learners each spoke Arabic, Japanese, and Spanish as their native language. For each language group, four were beginners, four intermediates, and four advanced learners of English. All were studying English at the English Language Center at Michigan State University. Each learner took three tests in the following order: oral production, written production, and written reception. These tests required the learner to fill in the blank in the sentence about a cartoon figure with a one-word oral answer, write a one-word answer that filled in the blank for each test sentence, and select the answer from four multiple-choice items. Each test had 70 sentences designed to elicit information about acquisition of the English auxiliary verb. Of these 70 items, 14 tested for the passive in six structures. Most correct responses were given on the multiple-choice written receptive task, while the fewest were given on the oral production task. The multiple-choice (receptive) task was easier than the two productive tasks. Beginners gave the fewest correct responses; advanced learners gave the most. The Japanese gave the greatest number of correct responses for each structure; the Arabs' responses were close behind; and the Spanish gave the fewest correct responses (with one exception to this pattern). Types of sentence structures that were easier/harder to learn are also identified. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A